The immune system of people infected with COVID-19 and who managed to overcome the disease manages to reduce a possible serious case of contagion with the omicron variant, according to a study carried out by researchers from the University of Cape Town in South Africa.
This same research indicates that people vaccinated with the doses recommended by the WHO They manage to strengthen their immunity to this strain of the coronavirus. According to the Spanish media El País, this could explain why despite the high rate of contagion by omicron, hospitalizations and deaths related to this virus are low.
This immunity would be responsible for the lymphocytes of the white blood cells, which manage to identify the malignant organisms of the COVID-19 to destroy them. This prevents a virus from prolonging the infection and can cause serious illness.
Virologist Wendy Burgers’ team reached this conclusion after analyzing lymphocyte levels CD8 Y CD4, the same ones that help to reactivate the immune system before a new infection, in a group of 90 patients vaccinated with the doses of Pfizer and J&J or who had developed the disease.
The results showed that the response of lymphocytes against omicron has an intensity of between 70% and 80% compared with that of previous variants.
“In South Africa, mortality and the severity of the disease have been lower with omicron”, Burgers notes. “But with the enormous number of cases registered in many countries, many hospitalizations are to be expected in a very short period of time in which many health workers will be on sick leave due to infection. The situation is very serious ”, warns.
But nevertheless, Andrew Redd, a researcher at the US National Institute of Infectious Diseases, noted that “It is still too early to provide conclusive data on the severity of omicron infection in different parts of the world.”
His research team was one of the first to point out that the ability of lymphocytes to defeat omicron is “Practically intact.”
“For now the only thing we can say is that getting vaccinated is the best thing anyone can do to avoid getting sick with omicron or any other variant. Everyone should get vaccinated as soon as possible and receive a booster dose if applicable ”, assures.
On the other hand, a group of researchers led by the immunologist Alessandro Sette analyzed the white blood cells of 86 U.S. citizens vaccinated with doses of Pfizer, Moderna and J&J. The results of this study demonstrated that up to 80% of the response to the virus remains intact against omicron.
These results mean that up to 80% of our police officers continue to patrol the agency, “he explained to the media, adding that” we still do not know what level of protection is sufficient. It depends on whether we are referring to a contagion or a serious disease. Probably this level of lymphocytes does not prevent the first, but it does prevent the second “.